Category Archives: cataloguing

Books breed. There is no other explination

My books breed. There is no other explination. I have come to the conclusion that when I go to sleep at night, my books are getting together for a late-night rendez-vous, resulting in little books appearing out of nowhere.

Pictured here is most of my book collection (I had to have a clean out when I left home, and again when I returned to Australia). As it stands, I am missing at least four books, which have disappeared from the fave of my shelves, including Artimis Fowl, Artimis Fowl and the Arctic Incident (both by Eoin Colfer), The Wind Singer, and Slaves of the Mastery (by William Nichols). Died in childbirth perhaps?

Not pictured here is the stack waiting to be properly catalogued, covered and labelled, before I can shelve it (I catalogue my collection using BookCollector, because I am pedantic like that). Then there is the stack on and beside my bedside table, waiting to be read. Then there are the ones my sisters have tried to filch off me (I know where they are, and who has them!I just can’t seem to get a hold on them!). Plus my 135 e-books that I have catalogued. And that is just my fiction collection!

In my kitchen, I also have more shelves with my magazine collection (which has serials from three seperate languages!), and my non-fiction collection. Most of my non-fiction collection are various textbooks from uni, but there are also a number of books of medieval costuming, Belgian history and photography, the French language, and cooking.

My serials are pretty under control (although I have a back log of a couple of months worth of Grok and InCite to get through), bu my non-fiction doesn’t have a spine label to be seen! There is a reason why the non-fiction is kept in a wardrobe- because if I look at it too much, it will drive me bonkers, and I will end up putting my life on hold while I catch up! Yeah, I would not be surprised if I were low-level OCD.

My biggest problem though is, how do I get the book-breeding under control? Should I leave condoms out at night, along with a book or two on birth control? I am running out of space for shelves, and Richelle Mead, Cassandra Clare, Robert Muchamore and Christopher Paolini all have books coming out later in the year which I must buy in print form.

I guess books are really the same as humans. No matter how much we try to slow population growth, we still keep on breeding. No matter how poor I am, I always seem to find funds for books.

BookCollector: perfect for the chronic cataloguer

Considering that this blog is called “Catalogue This!”, I really should start blogging about cataloguing, shouldn’t I?
As a bit of an intro, I am a chronic cataloguer. Always have been. This first time I put spine labels on my books, and typed up a bibliography of everything I had, I was just 10 years old. Throughout my teenage years I had Excel spread sheets with the bibliographic information of my collection. I even had a spread sheet for my downloaded movies, (columns included title, year, file runtime, file image quality, language, subtitle language, genre, file type, backup disk number and other notes). 
Then about 18 months ago, I discovered, and their software, BookCollector. This software is designed for the private and/or small library. It has a professional-looking interface, can generate (some) reports, it can retrieve bibliographic information from the internet automatically via ISBN, and best of all, it has a loans function. For me, this was the big draw, as now I could keep track of which books my sister had ‘borrowed’ and not returned. 
Image sourced from
While BookCollecector does not follow AACR2 (or any other set of rules), there are fields for including LoC cataloguing number, it’s Dewey, as well as the two ‘User Lookup’ fields. Here, the user can insert additional information (not tags, that has its own field) for search purposes. I use one of the fields for the item’s call number, and the other for its collection (ie. Junior, YA, Adult etc.).
The thing about BookCollector is that is allows the user to include as much, or as little information as they wish. There only really needs to be one identifier (title),  and from there, even the non-library-schooled can use it.
It is also a very affordable piece of software. At around AU$70, even a broke student (like myself) can afford it. And if you are not sure if you really want it. You and use the trial version, which allows you to catalogue 100 items. By the time you reach 100 items, you should know if you like the software or not.
Plus, you can purchase one of a number of barcode scanners, so increase the speed of providing the ISBN so the internet can do the cataloguing for you. If you are like me, and have a huge backlog to get through, this can be a life saver!
So yeah. Try out Book Collector. You will be glad you did.

Cataloguing: it is only week 2, and it is already my favourite unit!

Had intended to do this yesterday, for Library Day in the Life, but I never got round to it.
Yesterday I had Resource Description and Access. Also known as the Cataloguing Unit.
I haven’t blogged about this yet, but I love cataloguing. For me, a good Friday night in is spent in my room, improving the quality and details in my personal catalogue (I use BookCollectorz. Will talk more about it some other time). 
So anyway, I am loving RDA. While I have done it heaps on my own, I am finally learning how to do it properly (ie. according the various sets of rules). And this week, we are learning about the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules V. 2, also known as AACR2. 
Me being me, I forgot my copy of AACR2, so I had to borrow a copy owned by the uni for class. Lucky me, there were only copies of the first edition, published in 1988.
So after a detailed explanation during the lecture of how to catalogue according to AACR2, we went up to the LIS computer lab, and tried cataloguing for ourselves. There were a couple of bumps along the way (for example, trying to figure out what order the various notes go in). 
This whole class all I could think, was that I have been waiting all my life for someone to teach me how to do this properly.
And the first thing I did when I got home that day? Catalogue a few more of my books, that had arrived recently, but hadn’t got around to doing.
Life is good.